The authors note that, to the best of their knowledge, “this is the first study to assess [the effects] of a commercially available thermogenic supplement in combination with whey protein supplementation in active men and women.”
The study examined thermogenic supplements’ impact on body composition, metabolism and subjective variables like mood, sleep quality and eating behaviours.
The research was funded by EHP Labs, which manufacture OxyShred.
More products than research
Athletes use supplements to enhance their performance, boost recovery and improve physical fitness.
These include thermogenic supplements, or ‘fat burners’, which contain a combination of compounds including caffeine, B-vitamins and herbal substances. Approximately 34% of athletes report using energy drinks and 29% use caffeine.
Caffeine’s effects are well understood. However, other herbal ingredients are less well-studied and understood.
The authors note that, “Importantly, the number and variety of products marketed as fat burners continues to exceed the pace of research on their effectiveness, while published randomized controlled trials in the field have notable issues related to allocation concealment, blinding of participants and personnel, attrition bias and selective outcome reporting.”
“In order for athletes and active individuals to make informed choices regarding the use of thermogenic supplementation, more research examining the chronic effects of these multi-ingredient supplements on a range of important outcomes is required.”
A healthy sample
The authors recruited 52 people aged between 18 and 40 who were generally healthy and had done exercise at least twice a week for the last six months. They were either given no supplement, OxyWhey Lean Wellness Protein alone, or the protein plus OxyShred Thermogenic Fat Burner.
The authors used validated questionnaires to gather data on participants’ physical activity, mood, sleep habits and eating behaviour.
After four weeks, supplementation of a multi-ingredient thermogenic supplement didn’t result in appreciable changes in body composition, hemodynamic outcomes (like heart rate and blood pressure) or subjective variables.
“However, supplementation with protein and a multi-ingredient thermogenic product maintained REE as compared to no supplementation, for which a decrease in REE was observed,” the authors note.
“The observed benefits of combined protein and thermogenic supplementation for REE provide a rationale and a call to action for investigators to conduct longer-term studies focused on such outcomes.”
The authors note that the research didn’t feature a group who consumed just a thermogenic supplement and no protein. While participants were told not to change their typical diet during the study, adherence wasn’t recorded.
They point out that changes in fat and lean mass in response to intervention are often more gradual among people who already maintain a lean or muscular body composition. A longer follow-up may have been necessary to capture any changes.
They also say that “typical supplement users such as those reflected in our sample population may purchase thermogenic products with the intention of seeing results more rapidly, and the results of our study indicate that caution is warranted with these expectations.”
"Chronic Thermogenic Dietary Supplement Consumption: Effects on Body Composition, Anthropometrics, and Metabolism"
Authors: Siedler, M.R.; Rodriguez, C.; White, S.J.; Tinoco, E.; DeHaven, B.; Brojanac, A.; LaValle, C.; Rasco, J.; Taylor, L.W.; Tinsley, G.M.